Strategies September afternoons can be a great time to catch crappie. At this time of day, they begin to move to shallow areas to feed as the water cools.
Their bite will not be as aggressive in the fall as in the spring, so be sure and watch your line. As they get active and begin to chase bait, use small crankbaits.
Blakemore Road Runners or a white or chartreuse jig tipped with a chartreuse Berkley® crappie nibble are favorite baits among a lot of crappie anglers not only in September but throughout the year.
If you don’t find them in the shallow areas, try deep water around bridge pilings and wood docks or piers. These areas are usually covered with plankton, which attracts baitfish and thus crappie.
Depths of 15 to 20 feet in these areas would be best. If you see active bait, begin vertically jigging the area. The crappie will come up for the bait.
If you are trying to decide what bait to use in the fall for walleye, your best bait is to imitate their main prey, which are minnows. Crankbaits are great for this. Cast and retrieve a crankbait, or troll it behind the boat, but don’t let it move too fast.
Walleye are a little sluggish feeding in the fall as the water cools down. If walleye are suspended, cast or troll your crankbaits so they run at the same depth — or just above the depth — they are holding. If they are in shallow water, use a crankbait that dives a little deeper than the depth of water you’re fishing. This will cause the crankbait to root around, stirring up the bottom, and act in an erratic fashion as you retrieve it. This seems to stir the feeding instincts of walleye.